Psychiatrist, Writer, Commentator

About Steve Ellen

Steve is a (semi-retired) professor of psychiatry at Melbourne University and psychiatrist. He was previously the director of psychosocial oncology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne and, before that, the head of general hospital and emergency psychiatry at the Alfred Hospital. Steve is passionate about health communication and has aimed to promote good mental health for decades. He co-authored (with Catherine Deveny) the go-to general public guide for mental health, “Mental: Everything you never knew you needed to know about Mental Health”, which is available as an Australian edition, plus a UK edition (specific to the NHS), and a translated Chinese edition. He also co-wrote (with Rob Selzer) the pocket guide to psychiatry for students, “Psych Lite – Psychiatry that’s easy to read.”

Steve's influence extends beyond academia. He is a sought-after media commentator on health matters, lending his expertise to Melbourne’s ABC Radio and 3RRR (as Dr DoLittle on Radiotherapy). His ability to demystify mental health issues was further demonstrated in the 2-part SBS TV documentary “How ‘mad’ are you?” which he hosted, exploring stigma in mental health.

Steve’s research interests span a wide range of psychiatric disciplines. He has a keen focus on psycho-oncology, infectious diseases, emergency psychiatry, trauma psychiatry, and the psychiatric complications of medical disorders. His curiosity also extends to medical education and the neurobiology of anxiety disorders, reflecting his commitment to advancing the field of psychiatry.

Since becoming ‘semi-retired’, Steve has focused on writing fiction while continuing to do occasional locums around Australia and supporting the Wellbeing Program at Peter Mac.

CV Highlights

  • Qualifications: MB, BS. M.Med(psych). M.D. FRANZCP
  • Professor of Psychiatry at Melbourne University
  • Director of Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Experiences Research at Peter Mac (7 years)
  • Head of general hospital and emergency psychiatry at the Alfred Health (16 years)
  • Psychiatrist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Alfred Hospital and Austin Hospital
  • Media commentator on ABC News Breakfast TV, ABC Melbourne Radio and 3RRR Community Radio
  • TV host of “How ‘mad’ are you?” on the SBS Network
  • Co-author with Catherine Deveny of “Mental: Everything you never knew you needed to know about Mental Health”
  • Co-author with Rob Selzer of Psych–Lite: Psychiatry that’s easy to read
  • Writer of over sixty academic articles and book chapters
  • Researcher with grants totalling over 2.7 million dollars
  • Ten years as co-host of Writs & Cures, a weekly one-hour radio show on ABC Melbourne exploring health and the law with host Lindy Burns and later, David Astle.
  • Sixteen years as Dr DoLittle on Radiotherapy, a weekly health chat show on Melbourne's premier community radio station, 3RRR
  • Columnist for The Conversation with “Life on the couch – shining a psychological light on people, culture and society.”
  • Two years as the resident shrink on Steve Vizard’s Melbourne radio show on MTR